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mMK K£\©0£ 

400 & 800 COMPUTERS 



Atari is a trademark of Warner Communications 




DISK-PACK - 1000 

by George Morrison 
(C) Copyright 1983 

This manual is solely for the use of the 
purchaser and no part of this manual may 
be reproduced in any way without prior 
written consent from Alpha Systems. 

Atari is a registered trademark of 
Atari, Inc. 

Percom is a trademark of Percom, Inc. 

STOW 5 OHtO 44224 

(C) Copyright 1983 

Disk Pack 1000 contains five separate 
programs. They are: 

1. Ultimenu 

2. Disktime 

3. Color-Fix 

4. Screendumper 

5. Back-a-Disk 



To load DISK-PACK 1000, just turn on 
your disk drive and insert the disk. Then 
turn on your computer (with BASIC 
cartridge in). The DISK-PACK 1000 menu 
will automatically run. 



Ultimenu is the most user friendly disk 
menu ever written for the Atari computer. 
It enables even the most novice user to use 
the computer with minimal assistance. 
Ultimenu can be loaded automatically by 
just selecting that option on the main 
menu. It also can be run by typing RUN 

After loading, a screen will be 
displayed showing all the files on the disk 
(up to UU total), and the number of free 
sectors. To select a program you can either 
use the console buttons (OPTION, SELECT 
and START) or the joystick. The current 
selection is always shown in inverse video, 
and to change the selection, you can push 
OPTION to move it up, or SELECT to move it 
down. Also, if you wish, you can just push 
the joystick up or down. Once the selection 
you want is shown, just push the START 
key or your joystick trigger to run it. 

This program also has several other 
nice features. They are: 




On this menu the DOS. SYS has been 
chaneed to a GOTO BASIC, and the DUP.SYS 
has been changed to GOTO DOS. If DOS is on 
the disk, these functions automatically 


appear and can be used to do their 
respective functions. 

Also, this menu will load a binary load 
(or object) program. This feature is for the 
more advanced users, but once set-up, can 
be used by anyone. To make it work, just 
place the prefix ".OBJ" on any load and go 
binary load file (This is a binary load file 
set up with a "run at address" in it). Then 
when this selection is picked, it will 
automatically be loaded and run. 

To make ULTIMENU automatically load 
on your disks, just copy ULTIMENU and 
ULTIMENU. RUN onto your disk (be sure you 
have DOS on the disk too). Now just rename 
option E), and you're all set. Just turn the 
computer off and then on and watch it go. 
(Be sure you have BASIC in though.) 


Disk-Time will time your disk drive for 
you to be sure it is in the acceptable range 
(285 RPMs to 290 RPMs). If it is not in this 
range, you may have problems reading 
other peoples disks, or they may have 
problems reading yours. If it is very far 
out of this range some of your data may be 

To use, just select DISKTIME from the 
menu. The question ''WHICH DISK DRIVE?" 
will appear. Just type the drive number 
you wish to test (If you only have one 
drive, type 1). The program will then start 


the test and display your results on the 
graph. If you hear a strange noise coming 
from your TV, you probably tried to test a 
non-existent drive. If this occurs, press 
SYSTEM RESET and rerun the program. If 
your drive is not between 285 and 290 RPMs 
(for an ATARI 810 disk drive, PERCOM's 
should be approximately 301), you should 
probably adjust it. To adjust your drive 
speed, SEE BACK-A-DISK instructions for 
speed adjustment. 


This program is used to help you adjust 
the color on your TV. Used properly it will 
make your graphics look the way they were 
intended to. To run COLOR-FIX, just select 
it on the main menu. Once the colors 
appear on the screen (in about 15 seconds), 
adjust your set so the colors match the 
names that appear under them. Once all the 
colors match, your set is adjusted for your 
computer use. 


Screendumper is a utility program that 
will allow you to take any graphics image 
you generate on the screen and save it to 
your disk. You can then recall the picture 
any time in just seconds. This is especially 
useful for long running demos. The demo 
supplied on the disk took over an hour to 
generate, but can be recreated in about 10 



Screendumper is actually two programs, 
one to save your pictures to disk, and the 
other to load them back. These programs 
can be used as subroutines in your own 
programs, or run by themselves. 

I have put a demo on the disk to let 
you try these programs out. Just select 
SCREENDUMPER from the main menu or type 

First you will see a menu saying: 

1. Screenloader 

2. Screendumper 

3. Return to menu 

Just type 1, then return. The next menu 
will say: 

1. Load screen with demo 

2. Load picture you saved with 

For now type 1 (we'll explain 2 later) 
and a picture will be displayed. This helps 
to show the power of the screendumper 
utility. When done viewing the picture, hit 
any key. Now you're ready to try 
screenloader. To do this you will need a 
spare disk with at least 66 sectors free. 
Typing 2 will take you to screendumper. As 
the instructions on the screen will tell you, 
place your other disk in the drive and 
press the START key. A picture will slowly 
form on the screen, then be saved to your 
disk using screendumper. Want to be sure 
it worked? O.K., type 1 again to get 
yourself back to the menu, and this time 
try option 2 (load picture you saved with 
screendumper) . In a few seconds you will 
see the picture you just saved. 


There are two ways to use these 
utilities. The first is to call a subroutine 
to do the functions from your BASIC 
program. To understand this, just hit 
break from the demo and list the program: 
There are many comments in it to help you 
understand. There is also a much simpler 
way. Besides the screendumper demo 
program, there are two other screendumper 
programs on the disk. (To see them, go to 

The first is SCRENDMP.UTL (stands for 
screendump. utility) and using it is the 
simplest way to save your graphics image 
to .disk. 

This program on your DISK-PACK 1000 
disk willtake whatever is on the screen at 
the time it is run and save it to disk. 
First copy this program to a spare disk so 
you can work with it without harm to the 
original. It is set up to save the picture 
as a file called PICTURE.DAT, however, you 
can change it to whatever you like by 
changing line 8000 in the program. To use 
it, you must insert the line Run 
"D: SCRENDMP.UTL" in your demo program 
after it draws the picture to the screen. To 
find the proper place, you can use this 
method. Run the program that generates the 
picture you wish to save (like a demo, 
GRAPHIT, etc.) when the picture is drawn, 
hit the break key and write down the line 
the program stopped on. This line is 
probably a timing loop or in a loop waiting 
for your input. In either case, remove the 
loop and put in the line RUN 
"DiSCRENDMP.UTL" in its place. Now insert 


the disk that you saved screendumper on 
and run your demo program. When the 
picture is done, the program will run the 
line you entered, and save the screen to 

To show the picture you saved, you 
would use SCREENLOADER. This is called 
SCRENLOD.UTL on the disk. Load it in and 
type LIST. As you can see, it is quite 
simple to load your pictures back to the 
screen. Just set up the graphics mode and 
colors {the ones you used to create the 
picture) in line 8000, and put the name of 
the file you saved the picture to in line 
8010 (replacing P1CTURE.DAT). Next run the 
program and enjoy the view. When you are 
done looking, press, any key to return to 


BACK-A-DISK is a disk back-up utility 
that will make a working back-up of most 
currently available ATARI disk software. 
BACK-A-DISK is intended to help you 
back-up programs for safekeeping and is 
not to be used for making illegal copies for 

Before I explain how to use BACK-A — 
DISK, I will give a brief explanation of 
what it does. Some software that you get is 
copy-protected. This means that you cannot 
easily make a copy (using DOS dup-disk 
function for example) BACK-A-DISK however 
will copy many disks just by using option 1 
on the menu COPY WHOLE DISK. This part of 
the programs copies all sectors on the disk, 


even if the directory is hidden or the files 
are scrambled. 

Some software, however, is more 
protected, and uses a technique called "bad 
sectoring". Bad sectors are sectors that 
cannot be read by your drive. They are 
used to protect software from being copied. 
The program confirms that these sectors are 
bad, and runs the program. If these 
sectors are not bad, the program will bomb 
(because it knows this is a copy). You hear 
the program looking for bad sectors when it 
makes a grinding sound. In order to back 
up a disk with bad sectors, you must 
recreate them on your back-up disk. This 
is a difficult process, but is made easier 
by the BACK-A-DISK program. Using these 
two techniques, BACK-A-DISK will allow you 
to back up about 95% of all ATARI disk 
software available today. 

There is also a small amount of 
software using a new technique called 
"sector misassignment" or "custom 
formatting". This is a complicated 
technique which even BACK-A-DISK cannot 
back up. For a full explanation of this 
technique, see the book, ATARI SOFTWARE 
Systems . 

There are several things to know before 
using BACK-A-DISK. Anytime you press the 
wrong key and end up on the wrong screen, 
just press return to get back to the menu. 
The term "source disk" refers to the 
original disk that you wish to copy, and 
"destination disk" refers to the disk you 
will put the back-up on. Since this program 
can be used with more than one disk drive, 


it is necessary to specify which drive or 
drives you wish to use. If you have only 
one drive, always answer 1 when asked for 
source or destination drives. 

Now on to using the program. Selecting 
BACK-A-DISK from the D1SKPACK 1000 main 
menu will give you a menu like this: 

1. copy whole disk 

2. return to menu 

3. write bad sectors 
4* adjust disk speed 

5. disk directory 

6. format disk 

To back up a disk, follow these steps. 
Write protect your source disk (if it has a 
notch in the side, cover it). Prepare a 
blank formatted disk to use as a 
destination disk. Type option 1, COPY 
WHOLE DISK and follow the instructions on 
the screen. 

As the disk is copying, you may 
encounter bad sectors. When your disk 
drive attempts to read these sectors, you 
will hear a loud grinding sound and see a 
message. This is the sound of your drive 
trying to realign itself. This is a normal 
function and . does no harm to the drive. 
Each bad sector will be shown on the 
screen. Write them down because you will 
need them later. Complete the copy by 
inserting the source and destination disks 
as instructed. The more memory you have, 
the fewer times you will have to swap the 

If there were no bad sectors en- 
countered during the copy, your disk is 
ready to run. However, if bad sectors were 
encountered, follow the write bad sectors 


NOTE: If you wish to try the disk 
before putting the bad sectors on it, be 
sure to write protect it (some programs 
attempt to format copies!) 

Writing Bad Sectors 

There are several ways to put bad 
sectors on a disk. None of them are very 
easy, and all have their drawbacks, but 
bad sectors are necessary to make some 
back-ups. Out of all the methods, there is 
only one which I recommend using, and it 
will be presented last. First I will present 
some alternatives you may or may not like. 

One very good method is to use other 
small computers to write bad sectors and 
tracks. Some computers like the Apple and 
IBM allow you to format single sectors and 
tracks. Since there formats are not 
compatible with ATARI, they result in bad 
sectors. However, this is not effective when 
precise control of the bad sectors is 
needed, and you must have access to and 
knowledge of the other computers to use 
this method. 

Another method is to physically damage 
the disk. I have seen this technique used 
successfully, but it has major drawbacks. 
Basically, you map out the disk, and using 
a pin or other sharp object, physically 
damage the sectors that should be bad. 
Needless to say, hitting the right sector is 
very difficult, and permanent damage to 
the disk must be done. 

Another method is shaking the disk 
jacket or disk drive while sectors are being 
written. This technique takes a long time to 
work and can damage your equipment. 

There are many others, but I will now 
present the recommended technique. To use 


this technique, you must adjust the speed 
of your disk drive. This method is fast and 
very precise. It enables you to write as 
many bad sectors as you wish without doing 
any permanent damage to the disk. 

Adjusting Disk Speed 

To adjust your disk speed, it is 
necessary to remove the top cover and 
adjust one screw. To remove the cover, just 
pry off the four little tabs on the top of 
the disk using any small sharp instrument. 
Then, with a standard phillips head 
screwdriver, loosen the four screws (under 
the tabs) that hold the cover on, and 
gently lift off the cover. There are two 
types of ATARI 810 disk drives around, the 
newer drives have a circuit board across 
the top (see diagram "A"). The older drives 
have no circuit board across the top and 
have a large white plastic screw in the 
back left corner of the drive (see diagram 
"B"). This large white screw can be turned 
by hand to adjust your speed. It is very 
sensitive, so a quarter turn may be all you 

The newer drives are a bit trickier to 
adjust. To find the speed adjustment, look 
for a small green box with a tiny gold or 
silver screw on it. It is located toward the 
rear and a little to the left of center of 
your drive. It is very small but can be 
adjusted with a micro-screwdriver. The 
speed adjustment on the newer drive is not 
very precise. It may take as many as 8 
complete revolutions to properly adjust your 



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Before changing your speed, go to 
option 4, ADJUST DISK SPEED. This will 
graphically help you to get your disk 
adjusted. To write bad sectors adjust to 
approximately 220 +/- 10 RPMs. Try to write 
the bad sectors at the slowest possible 
speed without getting I/O errors. To get 
good "bad sectors" your disk should be just 
barely able to write. 

After adjusting your speed, go to option 
3, WRITE BAD SECTORS. Just enter the 
sector range you wrote down while doing 
the copy and insert your destination 
(back-up) disk in the drive. When this, is 
completed, return to option 4, ADJUST DISK 
SPEED, and adjust your drive back to 288 
+/- 5 RPMs. 

Your back-up is now complete, just 
write protect it and test it out. If your 
back-up doesn't work, repeat the writing of 
bad sectors and try again. 

Hints for Bad Sectoring 

The sector copier supplied on BACK -A — 
DISK is relatively slow and can take many 
swaps because it records all bad sectors. I 
suggest that if you already know where the 
bad sectors are, or if there are no bad 
sectors, that you use any quicker sector 
copier you may have. There are several 
very fast ones available that don't check 
bad sectors, if you have one, you can use 
it to make your initial copy, then use 
BACK-A-DISK to write your' bad sectors. 

Try this clue on a disk with many bad 
sectors. Make about the first 10 of them 


bad on your back-up and then try it out. 
Most of the time, the sector the program is 
checking is within the first few bad sectors 
on the disk so this will be sufficient to 
back it up. (Remember to write protect it 
before testing) . 



If your copy of DISK-PACK 1000 is ever 
damaged or fails to properly load, back-up 
disks are available for $5.00 to cover the 
costs (disks, postage & handling). 

NUMBERS. Should bootleg copies be found, 
the original purchaser will be held 
responsible and be subject to fines up to 
$50,000.00 or 5 years in prison, or both. 


This product is guaranteed to load for 
30 days after receipt. If it fails to load, 
be sure you have followed all instructions 
and that your disk speed is appropriate. If 
it still fails, return disk to Alpha Systems 
for a new copy. THIS OFFER IS VOID IF THE 


This product is sold on an "as is" 
basis and Alpha Systems makes no claims or 
warranties as to its performance or 
quality. The buyer agrees to assume all 
risk and responsibility in this products 
use, and in no event shall hold Alpha 
Systems, its distributors or retailers liable 
for any direct, indirect or consequential 
damages resulting from the use of this 
software or defects in it.